NIMASA assures of September takeoff of Maritime Varsity … Says capacity building crucial to industry growth
One of the administrative blocks at the temporary site of the Nigerian Maritime University,Krutie in Delta State
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has said it is committed to the takeoff of full academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University NMU, Okerenkoko in Delta State
The proposed takeoff of the university is sequel to the passage of the NMU Act, 2017 by the National Assembly.
To this effect, Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said that NIMASA is currently working closely with some government agencies at both Federal and State levels with a view to ensuring that academic activities take off at the Maritime University during the forthcoming academic session in September, 2017.
The DG, who made this disclosure, spoke at the just concluded 2017 edition of the Day of the Seafarers celebration, which took place at Onne, Rivers State with the theme: ‘Seafarers Matter’.
He noted that the mandate of the university include bridging the human capital gap in terms of building capacity in the maritime industry with particular reference to the seafarers, who are in high demand not only in Nigeria but also across the maritime globe.
According to him, capacity building remain a focal mandate of the agency, arguing that continuous capacity building is highly needed in order to ensure the sustainable growth and development of the maritime industry and across the length and breadth of the Nigerian nation.
He said: “Learning is a continuous process, when we stop learning the maritime industry cannot grow, and by extension the entire national economy. More so, the country is diversifying its resources and we need trained and competent personnel to man the different sectors of the economy”.
In line with this, in NIMASA there is a rebirth, which hinges on focusing on our core mandate of which capacity development is topmost in order to ensure a virile maritime industry. We therefore remain committed to the ideals of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Federal Government of making Nigeria a pride among the comity of nations”.
Dr Peterside therefore urged seafarers to remain patriotic in the delivery of their services to their fatherland and also assured them that NIMASA will continue to collaborate with ship owners and relevant industry players and stakeholders in the industry to ensure that their interest is protected.
“We are proud of you and be rest assured that we will ensure that your interest is protected and that international instruments pertaining to your welfare are fully implemented,” the DG said emphatically.
He also hinted that the National Joint Industrial Council NJIC, which is made up of tripartite stakeholders, has commenced sitting to fashion out a decent wage and improved working and living conditions for the seafarers in line with the provisions of the convention and comparable to what is obtainable internationally.
It was gathered that as soon as the collective bargaining agreement is signed, ship owners will commence its full implementation of the new working condition for the seafarers.
While assuring the seafarers of the agency’s continuous support, the DG stated that NIMASA will continue to give priority to capacity building initiatives in order to actualize its vision of making NIMASA a world class organisation in line with global best practice.
This according to him has also led the agency to develop a multi-strategy approach to encouraging young school leavers to take a career at sea through the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme NSDP.
Available records show that the NSDP, which is an initiative of the agency established in 2008 in order to bridge the gap of seafarers in the country has so far facilitated the training of 2,259 young Nigerian cadets in various fields of maritime studies in reputable Maritime Institutions in the United Kingdom, Egypt, Romania, India and the Philippines.
Details show that a total number of 943 cadets of the NSDP will soon be placed onboard ocean going vessels for their mandatory sea time, as facilitated by NIMASA with institutions in Egypt, United Kingdom and Turkey.
The agency had in March this year facilitated the training of 428 seafarers on mandatory courses and other specific areas of specialization for career progression.
These include STCW, Oil Tanker familiarisation OTF, Efficient Deck Hand (EDH), ISPS awareness training and specialised training on Dynamic Positioning DP, among others.